The first of the March morning game drives began with three males lions resting by the Main waterhole on Kgama Kgama road. A lovely way to start, though one of the lions looked a little morose for some reason! Other days saw them returning to that waterhole to lie in wait for prey to approach, and we also had six lions visiting the camp waterhole early one morning, just in time for the morning coffee and muffins.
The next day we were able to witness two cheetah socialising in such away that you could almost understand what they were saying.
Queues at the waterholes continue, as the smaller animals wait for the elephants to move off before approaching. The camp waterhole often has 12-15 elephants at a time drinking there – which can create a bit of a bar brawl amongst themselves as they all crowd around looking for the purest section of water.
One morning game drive provided lovely views of the less famous predators: spotted hyena, four bat-eared foxes and a honey badger.
March has been an active month for predators at Tau Pan. A takeover in territory could happen any time. The Tau Pan pride is currently restricted to a quick sweep to drink then straight out north of the airstrip.
Sightings of lion, cheetah and leopard were frequent at the beginning of the month. With the rains abating, and the season changing Botswana experienced some heat waves which forced thirsty predators to venture to the Tau Pan waterhole.
The camp was visited by a sub-adult young male leopard who resided around the camp for a week. It is possible that this young leopard, aged between 18- 24 months, had been to camp before as he was relaxed when spotted.
Two new male lions have moved into the Tau Pan from the Letiahau area where the waterhole is closed and their territory is overlapping with that of the resident Tau Pan pride. The area of overlap includes the camp water hole, so we have heard and seen a lot of lion activity.
In case you missed it last month we felt we had to re-share this spectacular sight of quelia taking a dip in our pool. They had been drinking at the camp waterhole, which is a flat pan, easy for birds to stand and drink at, but the large number of raptors were swooping down on them and hunting them.
A few smart individuals – obviously followed by a huge flock of not-so clued-up hangers on – began drinking at the swimming pool at the camp, where the raptors were too wary of humans to follow. The flocks swarmed in and around the camp, but the sheer number combined with the high sides of the pool meant that many drowned when trying to drink. Having people in or around the pool made no difference. A form of net was laid over the pool, but this also didn’t help. And who really wants to swim when 10, 000 birds are whizzing round your head? Eventually a type of mesh was found that helped the situation somewhat, but nothing could really be done until the queleas themselves decide to move off in search of better feeding grounds.
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